Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cooking from scratch...

... is  not only supremely economical; it is also majorly nutritious! Who among us is not getting squeezed by the rising cost of food, gas, and utilities? An article in today's Globe inspired me to remind people of the benefits of home-cooking from scratch. There are numerous sources of information out there and it's just a matter of looking them up. 
In households where time is at a premium, planning is the key to enjoying home-cooking. 
Plan your meals ahead of time, make a list of the items required, and shop accordingly. 
Invest in a set of practical cooking utensils; cooking is a job to enjoy... you wouldn't expect a tradesman to enjoy his trade with sub-par tools, would you? 
A crock pot is essential, indispensable really, for getting a meal started in the morning for consumption in the evening. Just make sure you brown the meat... don't use browning mixtures.
If rice is your thing, get a rice cooker for cooking consistency. A rice cooker allows you to avail of the rice that comes in big bags in ethnic stores (and increasingly available in mainstream supermarkets). Rice doesn't go bad for months. Avoid Uncle Ben's; it is just so expensive (you're paying for the convenience). Use Basmati rice; it's a bit more expensive than Milagrosa but well worth it.
If you prefer bread, make your own! See the two blog entries below, as well as on future blogs.
I will be blogging on complete meals-from-scratch, including materials' cost and preparation.
There are various sources of info on cooking from scratch... just google it. Bookstores selling used books  carry a lot of cook books... go for the ones that aren't too precise and fussy on measuring out the meal ingredients. A pinch-of-this and a-dollop-of-that is preferred to 15-mL and 1.5_tbsp.
Cooking from scratch is not rocket science. It's just a matter of doing it, and doing it often. You'll be glad you do.
One more source of useful information on all things about saving money:

note: I am not a cook, and I prefer not to cook; however, if and when  I do have to cook, I prefer to save money and be nourished properly. Almost all the ideas on this entry, as novel as they seem to me, have come from my wife, who has always been a natural cook.

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